Labour candidate accuses BBC of racism over 'wealthy Jews' article


The BBC has been accused of racism after an article on the Blackley and Broughton constituency in Greater Manchester referred to its “wealthy” Jewish community.

In an online profile, the BBC said the area was multi-cultural with a “Jewish community concentrated in a wealthy pocket of large detached houses”.

Labour Party candidate Graham Stringer, who is defending his seat, complained to the corporation, claiming, according to the Manchester Evening News, that the description was “a racist distortion”.

He pointed out that some members of the area’s Orthodox community suffered from some of the highest poverty levels in the country.

He compared the BBC’s characterisation of the community to the Victorian caricature of Fagin in Oliver Twist.

“It’s a view of the Jewish community as being rich, whereas in actual fact the Chasidic Jewish community has intense poverty," he said. “I can’t think of another community in Manchester with as much deprivation and poverty. It isn’t fair and it’s as offensive as Charles Dickens’s caricature of Jewish people in Oliver Twist in the character of Fagin.”

The BBC has since amended the profile, removing the comment.

A BBC spokesperson said: “These profiles aim to portray every constituency in a few sentences. We regret part of our description of Blackley and Broughton did not accurately reflect the area and we have now changed the wording accordingly."

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